Half-tonne Chelyabinsk meteorite chunk pulled from Russian lake
Largest fragment to date of meteorite that caused massive Chelyabinsk explosion in February
A 570-kilogram chunk of the massive meteorite that injured more than 1,100 people when it exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February has been recovered from the bottom of a lake.
The 1.5-metre-wide space rock fragment pulled from Lake Chebarkul on Wednesday was so heavy that it broke the scale used to weigh it, so its exact mass couldn’t be determined, reported the Voice of Russia and RT Network.
It broke into three pieces while being weighed.
Sergei Zamozdra, a professor at Chelyabinsk State University, told the Voice of Russia that the rock has features characteristic of meteorites that “prove that it’s a fragment Chelyabinsk meteorite” and that it will likely be among the 10 largest meteorites ever found.
Another meteorite fragment, thought to be about 300 to 500 kilograms, was scheduled to be pulled from the lake later Wednesday.
The Chelyabinsk was thought to be 20 metres in diameter and 11,000 tonnes when it blasted through the sky on Feb. 15, making it the largest object to hit Earth since 1908. Its explosion caused an estimated $33 million in damage.
To date, a dozen other pieces thought to be part of the meteorite have been pulled from the lake, but the largest confirmed fragment was only 4.47 kilograms.